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Kevin Gillespie        

Celebrity Chef, Former "Top Chef" Fan Favorite

Chef Kevin Gillespies true passion lies in serving his customers quality food every day. This enthusiasm means incorporating the use of fresh, organic and sustainable ingredients in all of his dishes. His goals as executive chef of Woodfire Grill are to increase the usage of local products, make seasonal dishes more exciting and create a youthful atmosphere at the restaurant.

One of his books, Fire in My Belly, includes more than 120 recipes that celebrate quality ingredients and mirror the kitchen at Woodfire Grill but were developed specifically for home cooks. The book provides a glimpse into the formative years of a rising culinary star while showing readers what to do with great seasonal ingredients through one-of-a-kind chapters like Foods You Thought You Hated and When I Want to Eat Healthy. Publishers Weekly calls it an impressive cookbook debut...with commentary that is just off-color and honest enough to be quite funny.

An Atlanta native, Gillespie began his culinary education at the Art Institute of Atlanta where he was able to apply several scholarships he had previously earned from cooking competitions and other academic success. During school, Gillespie was determined to gain the experience he needed to become a successful chef. While carrying a full course load at the Art Institute, he worked part time at various restaurants perfecting his craft. After graduating with honors, Gillespie went on to hold different positions at several well-known Atlanta restaurants including chef de partie at Atlanta Grill at The Ritz-Carlton, sous chef at TWO Urban Licks and chef de cuisine at Woodfire Grill. He enjoyed his time at each of these places but found a true connection at Woodfire, where he originally stayed for two years. In August of 2006, Gillespie headed to the West Coast where he went to work as executive sous chef at Fife Restaurant in Portland, Oregon.

After a year and a half there, he missed his family and friends in the South and returned to Atlanta. Gillespie came back to Woodfire Grill to continue to work for his friend and teacher Michael Tuohy. In the summer of 2008, Nicolas Quiones and Bernard Moussa of Five Senses Restaurants, LLC purchased Woodfire Grill and made Gillespie the new executive chef. They felt that in order to carry on Woodfire Grills reputation and mission, he was the most qualified for the position. Through his training, skill and passion, Gillespie maintains the values and ideas on which the restaurant is based.

In addition to achieving this partnership at the restaurant, Gillespie also earned a spot on Bravos Emmy and James Beard Award-winning series Top Chef for the shows sixth season in Las Vegas in 2009. Proving to be a top contender by winning the most Quickfire Challenges and Elimination Challenges in the history of the show, he stood out as one of this seasons final three chef-testants who competed for the Top Chef title in Napa Valley. Gillespie was also voted fan favorite by the viewers of Top Chef.

As a rising young culinary star that brings more than just good food to the table, Gillespie was named one of Mother Nature Networks top 40 Chefs Under 40 in November 2009 for linking farms to forks and promoting better health for people and the planet. In February of 2010, he was honored as one of's Top Five Rising Chefs and named as a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundations Rising Star Chef of the Year award. A few months later, in June, Gillespie was invited to prepare a meal at the James Beard House in New York City and was also featured on Cooking with Emeril on SIRIUS Satellite Radio. In 2010, Gillespie was selected as a Celebrity Chef Ambassador for the Monterey Bay Aquariums Seafood Watch program and also received The Art Institute of Atlantas Distinguished Alumni Award for his outstanding accomplishments in the restaurant industry. Gillespie accepted this alumni award in December 2010 at the schools graduation ceremony where he also served as the commencement speaker.

In 2011, Gillespie was again named a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundations Rising Star Chef of the Year award and nominated for Food & Wines The Peoples Best New Chef. Gillespie has even been honored in cartoon form; in September 2011 he performed the voiceovers for his own character on the season premiere of Squidbillies on Cartoon Networks Adult Swim. In this episode, the main character is dying from asbestos exposure and gets three wishes granted, one of which is to have a meal prepared by Chef Kevin Gillespie. In November 2011, Gillespie served as a keynote speaker for the international conference of Les Dames dEscoffier, a worldwide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. In December 2011, he was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in the magazines listing of tomorrows brightest stars.

2012 has been another successful year for Gillespie, as he was named a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundations Rising Star Chef of the Year award again in February and Best Local Chef by Georgia Voice in July. Gillespie was also chosen to join Leadership Atlantas LEAD Atlanta Class of 2013, a prestigious leadership development and community education program, and hosted Co+op, Stronger Togethers video series celebrating the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives. In this series, Gillespie traveled to food co-ops across the country to share their passion for delicious food and their local communities. In addition to his fall book release, Gillespie is the featured chef in a Fine Food and Wine Cruise to French Polynesia this September, giving travelers an exclusive culinary travel experience. The end of year also marks a new chapter in Gillespies professional career as he leaves his position at Woodfire Grill to focus on his new restaurant, Gunshow. Gunshow opens in March 2013 in the Glenwood Park area of Atlanta and feature a unique dining style where Gillespie prepares dishes from refined to rustic and sends them out to the small dining room for guests to choose from. During Gillespies time at Woodfire Grill, the restaurant has been featured on CNN and in Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine and Mens Health as a dining destination for visitors to Atlanta.

When he is not at the restaurant, Gillespie can be found participating in culinary events around the country including the Charleston Food and Wine Festival, Serenbe Southern Chef Series, Charlie Palmers Pigs & Pinot, High Museum Wine Auction, Music to Your Mouth Festival and Top Chef: The Tour. Additionally, he has previously partnered with Morellis Ice Cream to create a selection of seasonal sundaes for the shop. Gillespie currently resides in the Ormewood Park neighborhood of Atlanta with his wife, Valerie. He is a member of Slow Food Atlanta, Southern Foodways Alliance, Chefs Collaborative, Georgia Organics and the Society for the Preservation of traditional Southern Barbecue. In his spare time he enjoys camping, playing music and barbecuing.


Risk-taking 'Top Chef' Kevin Gillespie returns to his roots
As a veteran of "Top Chef" and the creative force behind Gunshow, his risk-taking Atlanta restaurant, Kevin Gillespie is no stranger to pressure.
Kevin Gillespie set to open new restaurant Gunshow in May - Atlanta ...
Atlanta chef Kevin Gillespie is gearing up for Gunshow, his new restaurant.

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